mutual agreement the long delayed general court martial of Haditha
defendant SSgt Frank Wuterich, a Camp Pendleton Marine accused of
multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter, has been postponed “by
agreement between prosecution and defense,” according to lead defense
attorney Neal Puckett.
Wuterich and seven other Marines were indicted for murder and cover up
in December 2005. The charges stemmed from an incident at Haditha,
Iraq on November 19, 2004 in which one Marine and 24 Iraqi citizens
were killed and 11 Marines were wounded. Since then charges against
six of the defendants were dismissed and another Marine was acquitted.
related matter Puckett said he has filed a motion appealing a Marine
Corps judge’s decision not to dismiss charges against Wuterich after
the Marine Corps forced his appointed military defense attorney to
retire while allowed the appointed military prosecutor, a reservist
from Chicago to remain past his tour of duty. Puckett, a former Marine
Corps military judge, has said Wuterich was denied his inherent right
to retain the military lawyer appointed by the Marine Corps to defend
him so the case must be dismissed.
we filed an extraordinary writ to the Navy Marine Corps Court of
Criminal Appeals challenging Judge [Lt. Col. David] Jones's denial of
our motion for appropriate relief based on the Hutchins decision,”
Puckett said Thursday evening in an e-mail.
Marine Corps Central Command Public Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Joseph D.
Kloppel said the Marine Corps would comment when it had more
Nathaniel R. Helms
Defend Our Marines
28 October 2010
Note: Nat Helms is a Contributing Editor to Defend Our
Marines. He is a Vietnam veteran, former police officer, war
correspondent, and, most recently, author of
My Men Are My Heroes: The Brad Kasal Story (Meredith Books, 2007).